Leading On-line Advertising Agencies Use IBM HotMedia in Next Generation Campaigns

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NEW YORK - 26 Oct 1998: - - IBM today announced that the industry's leading developers of interactive advertising, including OgilvyInteractive, Organic Media and The Leap Partnership, will use IBM HotMedia*, a Java**-based rich media toolkit, to create dynamic, interactive banner ad campaigns for their customers.  The online component of IBM's e-business advertising campaign as well as online ad campaigns for barnesandnoble.com and Fragrance Counter will be developed using HotMedia.

"The future of e-business depends on making the user experience as natural as possible -- and interactive advertising provides an exciting experience to online consumers which can positively influence their buying behavior," said Armando Garcia, vice president, Internet media, IBM.  "Through rich-media effects like panoramas and 3D objects, IBM HotMedia allows online advertisers to use powerful, interactive banner ads that recreate real-life scenarios."

With IBM HotMedia, online advertisers can create interactive banner ads which more effectively steer consumers through the buying process using a variety of rich media effects including panoramas, animated GIFs, panning and scrolling images, multi-track animations, zoomable/multi-resolution images and audio and video clips.  For a preview of Web banner campaigns implementing the IBM HotMedia toolkit, please visit http://www.software.ibm.com/net.media/ssd/.

In addition, IBM HotMedia allows the 'real estate' of the banner ad to be greatly expanded; for example, by placing navigable panoramic images within the banner space, Web surfers can easily manipulate and examine the advertised items.  This process does not require a plug-in or any special servers, allowing  advertisers and their clients to continue to reach the broadest possible online audience.

IBM HotMedia Leveraged by Advertising Industry Leaders
The IBM HotMedia toolkit is being leveraged by some of the leading developers of interactive ads, OgilvyInteractive and Organic Media, in upcoming campaigns.  OgilvyInteractive will use the technology in the online component of IBM's e-business ad campaign.  A second phase of the campaign, which originally launched in September and features IBM customers, will leverage the unique properties of the HotMedia toolkit to deliver a richer user experience. The banners will be placed on a wide range of media sites.

"The lightweight, cascading, modular architecture of HotMedia allows us to create a superior, multimedia interactive advertising experience, without the need of a plug-in or server component.  Robust functionality and lightweight in one package.  What more could you ask for in developing the next generation of I-media units?," said J. G. Sandom, director of interactive, OgilvyInteractive.

Additionally, Organic Media is developing online advertisements for barnesandnoble.com and Fragrance Counter using IBM Hot Media.  These ads will appear in November.  "Using HotMedia, we created an ad that displays several Fragrance Counter products and their prices within one banner, which maximized the real estate of the banner.  Each product also has a direct link to the corresponding product page, streamlining the purchase process for users," said Hala Makowska, vice president, managing director of Organic Media.  "The beauty is that HotMedia banners don't require a plug-in, and have minimal download time for users."  Fragrance Counter ads will run on Lycos and Yahoo in November.

IBM HotMedia has also gained support from the industry's leading ad server vendors -- 24/7, DoubleClick, Engage Technologies, and NetGravity.  These companies have tested HotMedia banners, and their award-winning ad servers can serve, track, and monitor HotMedia banners just as they handle existing Java banners.  In addition, HotMedia banners require no special technology to be delivered by these companies' ad server products.  Other rich media technology vendors, such as Narrative Communications and Real Networks, are exploring the potential use of HotMedia with their technologies. (please see attached addendum)

IBM HotMedia Benefits
IBM HotMedia Software for the Java Environment is a set of ultra-lightweight Java applets and a set of simple-to-use tools for content creators.  The IBM HotMedia player is separated into tiny Java applets (typically less than 10 kilobytes in size), which are delivered to the user on an as-needed basis.  This "smart content" technology allows IBM HotMedia files to determine which applets are needed on-the-fly.  In this manner, an applet is only downloaded once, and then it remains in the browser for the duration of the session, which speeds playback of subsequent content.  This effectively deals with today's typical low-bandwidth (28.8 Kbps) Internet connections, which have been one of the limiting factors in the wide use of rich media for e-commerce.

Since IBM HotMedia is delivered progressively, it is possible to send only the "tip of the iceberg" when a page containing an IBM HotMedia file is loaded. This is typically a lightweight static image, animated GIF, or scrolling image that is stored in the initial portion of the IBM HotMedia file.  Should an end-user desire additional content, the click of a mouse enables additional content to begin playing.

This approach makes it possible for on-line shoppers to browse quickly through many pages of an IBM HotMedia-enhanced catalog with minimal download time, and spares the merchant's Web server the burden of serving content that is not of interest to the consumer. This approach also makes IBM HotMedia ideal for other applications, such as interactive advertising.

IBM HotMedia is generally available for online creative professionals to use for dynamic content creation at http://www.software.ibm.com/net.media.  There is no charge for using this first version of the tool to create banners.

About IBM

IBM is the world's largest information technology company, with 80 years of leadership in helping businesses innovate.  IBM software offers the widest range of applications, middleware and operating systems for all types of computing platforms, allowing customers to take full advantage of the new era of e-business.  The fastest way to get more information about IBM software is through the IBM software home page at:   http://www.software.ibm.com.  For more information about IBM HotMedia please visit:  


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ADDENDUM:  IBM HotMedia Endorsements

"Bandwidth issues have been a problem for advertisers who want to reach their target audience with rich media," said Michael Rowsom, vice president, 24/7 Data Group. "IBM's unique new technology will help advertisers realize the benefits of rich media despite today's limited bandwidth."

Engage Technologies
"We are pleased to work closely with IBM to offer seamless support and integration of IBM HotMedia with Engage Accipiter AdManager," said Paul Schaut CEO and President of Engage Technologies.  "By combining the global behavior profiles from the Engage Knowledge database with cutting edge ads created with HotMedia, Engage offers customers a comprehensive solution capable of producing real time performance and analysis reports."

"The reach of DoubleClick's network and the power of IBM's Hot Media is the right combination for effective on line advertising," said Kevin O'Connor, CEO and Co-Founder of DoubleClick.

The Leap Partnership
"Since its inception, advertising on the Internet has been dictated more by technical limitations, and ways around them, than by solid business strategies. 'How can I make that work?' was as much of a concern as 'Will it be effective?'... this was inherently wrong and has led to much of the ineffective advertising that exists.  As an advertiser working under those limitations, certain solid brand-building ideas were dismissed early on due to the current technical constraints imposed by Web sites ­ and other ideas required so much custom programming that, although it achieved our clients goals, did not  provide the ROI needed to justify all the custom development.

"IBM's HotMedia provides us with a way to concentrate more on the idea and strategy that will best serve our clients needs, and its innovative delivery method alleviates much of the constraints imposed by Web sites Essentially, it gives us and our client more control over delivering just the amount of content the consumer wants. We can then capture those consumers who are interested in our clients product, without annoying those who aren't.  This is essential to building a solid, positive brand image with consumers," said  Sean Cummings, chief digital strategist, Quantum Leap Communications.

Narrative Communications, Corp.
"Narrative's Enliven Services have pioneered the transition from flat media to rich media ads.  Additional rich media effects like panoramas and 3D objects provided by IBM HotMedia are a natural complement to the existing Enliven solution.  We look forward to working with IBM to closely integrate HotMedia with Enliven and to extend its capabilities with our industry-leading measurements, tracking, and transactional offerings," said Scott Kliger, chief technical officer, Narrative Communications Corp.

An example of this potential is available today at http://www.narrative.com/hotmedia

"NetGravity has seen a trend in online marketing -- our customers are moving 'beyond the banner' and incorporating rich media, supported by technology, such as IBM HotMedia, to enhance marketing and e-commerce initiatives," said Rick Jackson, vice president of marketing for NetGravity. "We are pleased to support HotMedia to provide complete solutions for our customers, and as an extension of NetGravity and IBM's already multi-faceted co-marketing, service and technology partnership."

"IBM's HotMedia adds another dimension to interactive advertising. Our customers will benefit from using Real Networks products with IBM's HotMedia to create composite rich media banner ads," said Mark A. Bretl, vice president, media systems division, RealNetworks.


* Indicates trademark or registered trademark of International Business Machines Corporation and its subsidiaries.
** Java is a registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc.
Other names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their companies.

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